The Dangers of Paint Fumes

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If you have experience painting, then you have an idea how bad paint fumes are. This article from Paintworks will explain the harmful effects of fumes on the body and how to minimize exposure.

The chemical components of paints may vary from each company; however, mostly the only danger is the fumes that come from after painting. These fumes have VOC or volatile organic compounds that may cause instant harm to parts of the body such as the eyes and respiratory system. These fumes may cause headaches, dizziness and sometimes may even affect memory. Since directly inhaling paint fumes can be harmful to the body so make sure that you take the necessary precautionary measures to protect yourself.


·         Below is a list of possible short term effects of inhaling paint fumes:

·         Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs

·         Burns to the skin and eyes

·         Vomiting

·         Diarrhea

·         Visual disturbances

·         Headaches

·         Loss of coordination

·         Nausea

·         Lightheadedness

·         Dizziness

·         Allergic skin reaction

·         Fatigue

·         Memory impairment

·         Irritation contact dermatitis

·         Respiratory tract irritation

·         Shortness of breath

·         Influenza-like symptoms

·         Tightness of the chest

Reducing your exposure to the VOCs from paint fumes will greatly help you in avoiding the harmful effects that are stated above. Below are a few ways that can help you minimize your exposure to VOCs.

·         Make sure that there is enough indoor ventilation by opening doors and windows. If you can, install exhaust fans.

·         Ensure that you buy the right amount of pain so you won’t have to store excess paint. Paint cans that are opened are good sources of VOCs.

·         If you really have to store extra paint or other products that contain VOCs, just make sure to keep in places that aren’t used by people and away from children. Make sure to properly seal these containers so VOCs will not be released.

·         You can also opt for products that don’t emit VOCs.

So just how harmful are paint fumes really?

According to research, some paint fumes has been tested on animals and a number of these animals acquired cancer. It has also been shown that exposure for long periods of time with paint fumes can increase the likelihood of developing asthma. Paint fumes must not be around pregnant women, for inhaling the harmful fumes can be bad for the baby and may even result in miscarriage and birth defects. Children must not be exposed to paint fumes since their bodies are still developing and may be detrimental to their overall health.

Contact Paintworks if you are looking for painters in Victoria BC.